Google's Go was 2016's biggest gainer in Tiobe's index of language popularity, as the top titles on the list all slipped year over year.
Claiming the crown of Tiobe's programming language of the year, Go gained 2.16 percentage points from a year ago, with a rating of 2.325 percent. It was ranked in 13th place this month and was in 54th place in January 2016. Tiobe rankings are based on a formula assessing searches on languages in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Wikipedia.
"The main drivers behind Go's success are its ease of learning and pragmatic nature," a report accompanying the monthly index said. "It is not about theoretical concepts, such as virtual inheritance and nomads, but about hands-on experience. Apart from that, Go has built-in support for concurrency programming." Tiobe, which provides software quality services, sees more of its own customers adopting Go in an industrial setting. "That is a good indicator," the company said.
Trending downward were the index's top five languages: last year's winner, Java (17.278 percent, down 4.19 percentage points from January 2016), C (9.349, down 6.69 points), C++ (6.301, down .61 points), C# (4.039, down 0.67 point), and even trendy Python (3.465, down 0.39 point).
"This [slippage for the top languages] is indeed interesting," said Paul Jansen, managing director at Tiobe. "The reason is that the second tier of languages is getting more popular, so the pack is getting closer to each other. There is no language that covers all domains." Increasingly, companies and software projects themselves need multiple languages, and for C, Jansen has expressed his belief that it has slipped because of a lack of mind share in mobile or web development, not having a single vendor behind it to push it and not evolving much.